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Getty Kevin Durant looks on during the second quarter of Brooklyn's game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on December 27, 2020.

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The Brooklyn Nets, winners of six straight games heading into Tuesday, are surging. The remarkable part? They’re doing it without their best player.

Kevin Durant has now missed five straight games — including Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings — due to a mild left hamstring injury that he suffered against the Golden State Warriors on February 13. All told, the 11-time All-Star has missed eight of the Nets’ last nine games; earlier in February, he was absent for three games due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

The good news for the Nets is Durant appears to be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Steve Nash Gives Encouraging Update on Durant

“Yeah, I do,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said when asked if expects to get the 32-year-old Durant back before the All-Star break, via SNY. “But again, we’re just trying to monitor and be cautious. We definitely have kind of slowed things down in that respect. Not putting any pressure on him, not trying to rush him back in any capacity and just make sure that we give him the right amount of time to be more than healed, to be strong and conditioned to come back into the team. So we’re monitoring it and we’re not in a rush, but I don’t think he’ll be out until the All-Star break.”

Tweets by SNYNets

The All-Star Game is set for March 7 in Atlanta. The Nets have five games before then, including their game Tuesday against the Kings.

Nash’s comments Tuesday represented the first time he’s given a timetable on Durant’s injury. On Monday, his update on Durant was also positive, but without elaboration on when he expects him back.

“I think he’s progressing every day and it’s really positive,” Nash said Monday, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “But I couldn’t tell you when his return is, but reiterate that we’re all optimistic and positive that he’s improving at a rapid rate and will be back soon.”

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Signs of Progress for Durant

Before the Nets’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, the 6-foot-10 Durant was on the practice floor for his first pregame warmup since suffering his hamstring injury, per Winfield.

In an article for the New York Daily News, Winfield wrote that Durant was near-perfect on his mid-range shots during his workout, though the shots with added distance were a bit short.

Kevin Durant participated in pregame warmups today. He did not before the Suns or Lakers games. Today marks the 4th straight game Durant has missed with a left hamstring strain.

Steve Nash said Durant is “improving at a rapid rate and will be back soon.”

— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) February 22, 2021

Nets Thriving, Even Without Their Best Player

In Durant’s absence, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the other two members of Brooklyn’s Big Three, have been superb in leading the Nets. Irving is averaging 28.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists over the Nets’ six-game winning streak (he missed one game over that span due to lower-back soreness), and Harden has thrust himself into the MVP discussion with 27.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 10.7 assists in those six games.

Durant, meanwhile, has been an MVP candidate all season. He’s averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists. As the Eastern Conference’s leading vote-getter for the All-Star Game, he was named its team captain. Irving and Harden also are headed to Atlanta for the All-Star Game; Irving was voted in as a starter, and Harden was named a reserve, according to a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Tuesday.

Sources: 2021 NBA All-Star reserves:

West: Chris Paul, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis

East: James Harden, Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021

READ NEXT: Kevin Durant Has Meme-Worthy Reactions From Bench as Nets Destroy Lakers [WATCH]

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How AGT Judge Made Fun of Simon Cowells Dangerous Back Injury

NBC AGT judge Simon Cowell is recovering after a bike accident, from which he broke his back and needed surgery.

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A post shared by @simoncowell

Those who follow Howie Mandel on Instagram are well aware that the 65-year-old is a trickster, but they may not know how far he’s willing to go to get a good laugh.

A few months ago, Mandel sent Simon Cowell a tricycle. What’s the joke? Well, Cowell was hurt after testing out a new electric bicycle last summer. It appears Mandel thought a tricycle may be a bit more manageable for the music producer.

When Mandel later reposted the photo, he wrote, “Safe biking my friend.”

Safe biking my friend

— Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) August 21, 2020


Here’s what you need to know:

Simon’s Back Injury

Simon Cowell Has Surgery After Breaking Back In E-Bike AccidentSimon Cowell will not be sitting in a judges chair for the first two live episodes of "America's Got Talent" after breaking his back during an e-bike accident over the weekend. ET Canada has the latest on his terrifying injury. SUBSCRIBE to our channel: FOLLOW us here: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:…2020-08-10T19:47:48Z

Last August, Cowell suffered a terrible back injury while quarantining in Los Angeles.

According to Hollywood Life, Cowell was testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his Malibu home.

A rep later told the outlet, “Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike whilst testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family. He was taken to hospital where they operated overnight, he’s under observation and is doing fine.”

According to FR 24, Cowell underwent six hours of surgery to “insert a metal rode into his spine after breaking three vertebrae.”

After the accident, Cowell tweeted, “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”

Because of his injury, he was forced to step away from America’s Got Talent.

When a source close to Cowell spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, they shared, “[Simon] is doing as well as one could be after back surgery, and he knows that he really dodged a bullet and could easily be paralyzed or worse dead. “o, he is counting his lucky stars … He is enjoying this time with Eric, and he is loving that Eric is actually a big help around the house and getting things for his dad throughout his recovery. Whether it is something like a drink or food or a book, Eric is really stepping up and helping out.”

Cowell Has Since Shed Some Pounds

In December, Hello Magazine snapped pics of Cowell in Barbados, enjoying quality time with his family.

He was even spotted riding a jet ski, suggesting his back is healing well.

In February, the Daily Mail reported that Cowell has shed more than 20lb in weight after adopting a vegan diet. The outlet wrote, “Simon has shed more than 20Ibs in weight thanks to a fastidious vegan diet, which he changed in order to keep up with his son Eric, six.”

Another source close to the music mogul told Page Six that Cowell is walking 10,000 steps a day as he continues his recocevery. When his co-star, Amanda Holden, was interviewed by the outlet, she shared, “He’s doing well. I keep in touch with Lauren every week. His will and determination to get himself better is inspiring.”

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